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What is Juneteenth? Where to Find in Connecticut!

Wikipedia tells us that Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South. Celebrated on June 19, the word is a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth.” Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states.

The holiday is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and readings by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Celebrations may include parades, rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, or Miss Juneteenth contests.

So Where to Find in Connecticut?  We know of a few and if you know more please COMMENT!

Saturday, June 10 

New Britain Museum of Art celebrates with your whole family by offering FREE admission all day with live music, guest speakers, special workshops led by educators, local vendors, and savory snacks from Hartford’s Black Eyed Sally’s. The commemoration is open to all ages and honors the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865. Activities and lectures are free, but selected workshops must be registered for in advance.​

Hemptead Houses in New London highlights the African-American history of the Hempsted House and the surrounding neighborhood with the NAACP-New London Branch.The celebration will feature storytelling, drumming, gospel music and dance – and a dash of history – with art making opportunities for children and adults and tabling by New London’s non-profit community.

Wadsworth Atheneum and Amistad Center in Hartford hosts FREE admission to celebrate freedom, equality, and African American history. Experience song and dance performances, create art, take a tour, and more!

Admission to these cultural destinations are also FREE as part of CT Open House Day. Sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Tourism, the one-day statewide event is designed to showcase Connecticut’s diverse world of history, art & tourism. A great way for residents to discover or rediscover all that is happening in our state!

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